International medical graduates go through a lot of stress when trying to apply for a UK visitor visa in order to travel to the UK to take the PLAB 2 exam. There’s a lot of uncertainty that hangs above your head when you are trying to move forward in your career.
In this post, I will discuss the top five mistakes that are made by international medical graduates when they apply for their UK visas and how to avoid them.
1. Discrepancies in Online Visa Application and Cover Letter
Many international medical graduates think that the cover letter they are writing summarizing their whole application process is the main application. In contrast, your online application is the main application. Whatever you fill up online has to explain and satisfy all the questions related to your visit which include your employment status, how much you make, how much you spend, if there is anyone that will be supporting the visit financially, and how much they will be supporting.
Your online application has a plethora of questions which is enough to explain everything related to your visa while the cover letter can act as an appendix or a supporting document to the main application where you pour your heart out explaining everything.
The cover letter should contain some things you think require further explanation, more detail about the itinerary, or more explanation of your personal circumstances, where you stand, what you look forward to, and why you want to travel. Remember your online application bid is the main application so you have to make sense completely of your personal circumstances in your country and also the circumstances surrounding your visit to the UK.
2. Providing Incomplete or Excessive Documentary Evidence
While filling out your online application, it is important to provide evidence for every statement made. For example, if you state that you are employed then you have to provide some evidence of that employment. If you claim that you make some amount of money or you have some savings, you have to provide evidence of that savings.
If you claim that you’re not employed then there is no evidence needed. If you claim in your personal circumstances that you are currently not employed but you have been employed for the last five years and you are actually going abroad with your own money then you cannot just say I am unemployed and I have this amount of money in my bank account. The evidence will not show how you managed to have that amount of money in your bank account and you are supporting yourself while unemployed.
So you need to find a logical explanation of your circumstances and provide evidence. In that case, you have to explain how you have that money by stating your previous employment details, and how much you earned. There has to be a logical explanation of what you’re providing as evidence and what you state in your application.
The failure to explain personal circumstances is one of the biggest reasons why a lot of visas get refused. All you have to do is make sense of your application and provide documentary evidence sufficient to prove that claim.
3. Failure To Explain Financial Circumstances
A lot of people are with the idea that if you can show a bank statement with millions and have access to it, it should be enough to travel and come back. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. The thing is in order to give you the permission to enter the UK, the visa authority has to make sure that the financial standing on which you are requesting to enter the UK is firm.
It is not just about having money in your bank account. It involves other financial circumstances. So if you are sponsoring yourself, then how did you obtain that money, do you have any dependents that you have to pay for, and how much is your monthly expenditure. How will your financial standing be when you use this money.
It is also about how you acquired the money. In most cases, the doctors who take PLAB 2 get a sponsorship, which is okay. The sponsor does not even have to be a blood relative and may just have some sort of professional or personal relationship with the applicant. For instance, if your uncle is sponsoring you, you can explain that your uncle who has agreed to sponsor you has been really close to you since you were a kid.
This explanation also works as long as the other party agrees and provides a letter of support that he is willing to support you attached with his name, contact details, amount of money he is sponsoring you with, the number of dependents he has and that even with his dependents, he has enough money to sponsor you to the UK and back.
It is not only about having a large sum of money in a bank account for six months or 12 months, it is also about the financial standing of the person who is sponsoring your visit and also your financial standing. This is often overlooked.
Since you will be spending money to travel to the UK and you will be spending money during your stay there, it is very crucial that they establish that you do not have to recourse the public fund or anything of that sort and you have the money on yourself to support your visit to the United Kingdom.
4. Failure To Explain Your Plan For The Visit
Your intention for the period of your stay in the UK as stated in your online application has to be accounted for in your plan. If you state that you are going to the UK for the purpose of taking the PLAB 2 exam, which is a one-day exam and you wish to stay for three months, and you do not add any other explanation to your application, then they would likely think you are not a genuine visitor.
If you are traveling for a one-day exam and you want to stay three months, you have to explain why. You have to clearly state that you are going for a course that will help you prepare for the PLAB exam which will last for less than 30 days or thereabout. You should also state that you will be studying to understand the exam pattern and will also require a self-practice period before taking the exam. You can also explain that after the exam you will stay for about one week or so to look around the city and visit some historical places before going back to your country.
5. Funds Parking
This implies that you basically park the money or park the fund in your bank account. For instance, if your bank statement shows that a major transaction involving a huge sum of money occurred, it is important to clearly explain the nature of the transaction, especially if your business or source of income involves huge transactions.
It may seem like the money just came in and you put it there so that it shows you have a lot when you apply for your visa. There is no need for your sponsor to transfer the money to your account if you didn’t earn it. It is better if the sponsor keeps the money in their account and they actually give you a sponsorship letter with their bank statement explaining their financial status and peculiarities.
There you have it the top five mistakes that are made by international medical graduates when they apply for their visa to the UK in order to take PLAB 2.